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Increased automation could see data scientists out of a job

Increased automation could see data scientists out of a job

Gartner says more than 40 per cent of data science tasks will be automated by 2020

Gartner predicts a rise in citizen data scientists as automation processes proliferate and intelligent machines start to transcend skills that have traditionally been restricted to the realm of professional data scientists.

As a result, the firm said vendors are increasingly extending reach in enterprises across all industries with a prerogative to simplify complex tasks such as data integration and model building.

Gartner defines the citizen data scientist as an individual that bridges the gap between mainstream self-service analytics by business users and the advanced analytics techniques of data scientists.

In a nutshell, the citizen data scientist is now able to aggregate sophisticated analysis that would have previously required more expertise.

"Most organisations don't have enough data scientists consistently available throughout the business, but they do have plenty of skilled information analysts that could become citizen data scientists," said Gartner research director, Joao Tapadinhas.

"Equipped with the proper tools, they can perform intricate diagnostic analysis and create models that leverage predictive or prescriptive analytics. This enables them to go beyond the analytics reach of regular business users into analytics processes with greater depth and breadth."

Similarly, Gartner research vice president, Alexander Linden believes the increase in automation will bridge the skills gap, empowering a larger audience of analysts.

"The key to simplicity is the automation of tasks that are repetitive, manual-intensive and don't require deep data science expertise,” he said.

For Tapadinhas, the result of automation will be increased access to more data sources, including more complex data types; a broader and more sophisticated range of analytics capabilities.

"Access to data science is currently uneven, due to lack of resources and complexity - not all organisations will be able leverage it," he added.

"For some organisations, citizen data science will therefore be a simpler and quicker solution their best path to advanced analytics."

According to the analyst firm, citizen data scientists will surpass data scientists in the amount of advanced analysis produced by 2019 as a vast amount of analysis produced will “feed and impact business”, delivering a more pervasive analytics-driven environment.

However, Gartner said this will allow some breathing room for data scientists who can shift their focus onto more complex analysis.

Linden, meanwhile, maintains that whilst fewer data scientists will be needed to do the same amount of work, every advanced data science project will still require at least one or two data scientists.

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Tags GartnerData sciencecitizen data scientist

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